Can anyone be bothered to make a difference?

Once upon a time there was atmosphere....
Before the Fulham match I had seen various reports on ‘blogs and in the press about ‘bringing back the scarves’ to demonstrate to the new players the passion and dedication of the fans at St James’s Park.

So after a good 10 minutes in the cupboard under the stairs I found my three scarves. One for me, one for the missus and one for my sister, who we were dragging along for extra volume. Me being the chivalrous type, I kept the tatty one for myself, but no matter, it was a scarf and I was ready to twirl it.

So after the 215 mile drive, the picture in my mind as we walked from Westgate Road up to the Strawberry Corner of the Gallowgate was one of a sea of 1000s of billowing scarves ruffling around the ground. I couldn’t wait to hear the roar of the crowd together with this black and white spectacle.

As we approached the ground I dismissed the sight of people with no scarves as just the minority, but as I walked closer and stood in the queue for ticket collection (which was bloody long by the way) I realized that no-one other than the three of us had scarves on at all.

The missus and my sister didn’t want to wear them in the first place, so needless to say I got a bit of grief. Nonetheless we duly waved the scarves and fair play to the two old blokes in the East Stand who joined in with a nod of approval in our direction.

So, this scarves thing made me think…

Lots of people must have been aware of the movement to ‘bring back the scarves’ but no-one could actually be bothered to do it. On noticing my faded black and white scarf one bloke commented that he’d thought about bringing his scarf but couldn’t be bothered.

It’s a bit of a long stretch, but that pretty much sums up NUFC supporters really.

Lots of people are up in arms about the lack of a No.9, the latest question and answer session from the board or the letters coming down from the East Stand, but really … the vast majority are prepared to overlook every one of these off field calamities. Don’t get me wrong they will have a moan in the pub and on ‘blogs like this … but really they just want to watch football and have a good time for those all too brief 90 minutes.

This is why in my opinion the supporters movements are doomed to failure (is the infamous NUST still running?). Personally I do not think that any amount of objection or movement or gathering of supporters will make a jot of a difference to the hierarchy at the Club. In reality I think 99% of supporters think the same and are prepared to ignore Mr Ashley and simply watch the football.

The latest attempt to create a bridge between the supporters and the club is the well named ‘NUFC Fans United’ who I’m sure have the best interests of the club at heart. Everything which has stemmed from their first meetings has been positive and they will bring together great minds and suggest wonderful things to the Club.

However give it six months and with a lack of support and a ‘can’t be bothered attitude of the 99%’, they will give up, leave their scarf at home and just enjoy the match.

But that’s the thing … the ‘NUFC Fans United’ the ‘bring back the scarves’ brigade along with every other group are missing the point. We don’t need to galvanize the supporters, because it happens of its own accord every match in the stands. And this is where the 99% go to vent their anger/frustration/appreciation. They can’t see the point of joining a protest group (or bring a scarf to a game) because no-one listens. Its not that they can’t be bothered, they love the club no more or no less than you or I, but they know no-one will listen.

One day we will get a new owner, but that won’t be because of a protest group or a united group of supporters convinces Ashley to sell up. We will get a new owner when Ashley decides that his time is over.

We can only hope and pray that our next owner is a fan who is a businessman rather than a businessman who isn’t a fan.

Anyway I’ve got my Villa tickets … and I might take the scarf along … just in case.

Thanks to Shrews Mag for sending this in for you to read.

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

37 thoughts on “Can anyone be bothered to make a difference?

  1. I have a scarf. I wear it when it is chilly.

    Not a great idea to ‘bring back the scarfs’ when its is so warm that most people are turning up just wearing a T-shirt.


  2. Shrews – Just found this in my e-mails so sorry for the delay. I did e-mail you back with my personal address so check your spam folder maybe?

    On subject, I kind of agree. I think the fans can be arsed to do something though, but as yet there has been nothing really that has pricked their interest. Nothing that immediately stands out as having a chance of working.

    I commend these fan groups. I really do, but the fact is that for every one that works there are dozens that fail and fall by the wayside. It will only work if Ashley is prepared to listen or if his fortune means that he has to listen. Like it or not that scenario won’t come anytime soon as they guys makes more profit from SportsDirect than Newcastle costs in turnover each year.


  3. I think last night should have been a wake-up call to all those who think we NEED a new striker. It would be lovely, and would improve the squad, but our midfield made nothing for the forwards yesterday.

    Put Best or Ba on the end of the chances QPR made last night and you would have seen goals.


  4. I did the same for the Fulham game. With living a little bit further away than the author, I was really looking forward to my first home game of the season. I’d heard about the Bring back the scarves thing, so went and bought myself a new scarf to celebrate.
    When I was walking up to the ground, went to Rosies, as is tradition and didn’t expect to see many scarves in there, I was right. However when walking up to the ground there were a few more with scarves, so I thought, this might just be on.
    It wasn’t. Where I was sitting in the sports bar bit, there was me a young lad and an older lady out of all of us there with a scarf.
    I felt a right plum waving it around when we scored and no one else did.

    Apathy is what it is. Apathy towards the players, the club and the board.

    You see how excited we get about the smallest glimmers of hope, well I do anyway.
    Ryan Taylor was a legend until last night. Most people, today seem to think he’s now worse than useless. Fickle us?


  5. I begrudgingly admired the way MUFC fans used Newton Heath scarves to demonstrate their hatred of the Glazers, and wondered if our lot could use a similar method to mobilise the Ashley Out campaign. I was going to suggest using the colours of Newcastle East End and get some scarves made… until I found out they played in red and white. Black scarves anyone?


  6. Good article…

    Personally I think Raylor is decent, but against a pacey winger, you need someone firstly who is pacey himself, and secondly, someone who isnt playing out of position.

    Id like o see Raylor given his chance at right back at home games. Simspon used away.


  7. 6-0

    Way that has got to be VERY good news. Especially after last night’s performance.

    Hopefully Santon will start on Saturday with Gosling and Fergie on the bench.


  8. Think gosling finally deserves his start now. Fergie is a really promising player and good to see santon come through and kadar get a bit of confidence back! Sounded extremely good really and gives us more strength in depth again


  9. Surely our Best side at the moment is…





    Subs: Harps, Kadar, Raylor, Guthrie, Marvaeux, Sammy, Ba.

    Get rid of Loverpants and Ameobi pls.


  10. fergie gosling kadar and santon stand out players
    Very happy to see those names mentioned as I have been worried about defensive depth


  11. did the club advertise ‘bring bk the scarves?’

    if not it probably wasnt advertised enough. The Chron or blogs is the only place to see it advertised/encouraged.


  12. JJ- tough to argue with that. wouldn’t mind seeing marvaeux get a start. Key for me is the 5 man MF with Gosling in there


  13. Great work from the ressies. Gerrin!

    I think one reason protests don’t come together is that there is a lack of cohesive opinion on what’s being protested about.

    I, for instance, don’t want Ashley out. I want Llambias out. I personally think Ashley, for all his faults, is far better than most owners and we’d be likely to get worse if he sold up now.

    A lot of the mooted protests fail because nobody really grasps the nettle of deciding exactly what the group wants. There is an elephant in the room which is along the lines of: they say they want him out because of lies and pocketing money, not knowing what he’s doing, etc. etc. But in truth they know exactly what the strategy is, have seen it implemented and working, but just don’t like it. That’s no basis for a protest and Ashley would be right to ignore them.

    Pardew’s got it spot on. It’s his club, and while we may disagree with some of his decisions (we all do that with our bosses, don’t we?) it’s none of our damn business. Also, if we’d failed to hit targets under his strategy it would be some cause for complaint – but the truth is that we keep exceeding targets and expectations.

    So put the damn bedsheets away, accept that the club is actually making good progress, and focus on what supporters should be doing, which is ensuring the best possible support at matches to get our players performing to their best.

    That’s what the scarves are for; don’t pretend they represent anything else, because they don’t.


  14. JJ @ 13 – Watch this space with that formation.

    Mickey – You sat in the sports bar. Did you expect atmosphere in there? Did you have to sell your soul to purchase the ticket? Or just leave it outside to be collected later? 😆


  15. JJ – yep, as long as Cabaye’s performance yesterday was a one-off and Tiote gets himself sorted.

    I hope Pards is right about Benny. He should be our missing spark.


  16. bring back the scarfs…. they were never that big to start with were they.. they sometimes have a fair few at special games like shearers testimonial and sir bobbys charity games etc but week in and out…. i dont ever think its been a major thing. i have had my season ticket for 17th season now and although sometimes i do miss more games than i go to cos of being abroad… i have never really seen huge sways of scarf weilding fans. besides.. they will prob ban them cos its disrupts fans who cant see the game blah blah ……….


  17. No. You were right the first time…and some of the irrelevant posts to the article prove the point. When it comes down to it…noone can really be bothered. Realised that long ago. Same reason people turn up late and leave early for both halves. Passion at the Toon is a myth now…really it is!


  18. I know it’s just a ressies match but the reports are that Santon really bossed it today. Looking forward to seeing him this weekend.


  19. @20 – aye this scarf carry on is a complete myth – there’s only been 2 or 3 occasion when people were hoying the scarfs around & thats when the club were handing them out for free when entering the ground a few year back – old sports direct stock/****e – is what i was telt.


  20. I wouldn’t read too much into the ressie game. In mind Santon will start on Saturday anyway although its nice to see him get some game time under his belt.


  21. Chris – sadly, I think you’ve got a point – but I disagree with your conclusion. I think the passion is still there, but, as with all things in life, people give convenience too high a priority these days.

    Saying you left before the end to avoid traffic now seems to be acceptable conversation, whereas to me it definitely translates to “I’ll pay lots of money to see a match, but don’t expect me to be inconvenienced. I am a **** with ****ked up priorities”.


  22. Roy…don’t know if it was old Sports Direct stock because one match when they were supposed to be dished out free they weren’t, the club then released a statement saying they had sent the scarves back because the quality was crap…………..oh hang on, you must be right 😆


  23. @31

    MDS and toonsy sitting up a tree.. k.i.s.s…. 🙂

    I wish I got a x now and then, in a right huff nu.

    apparently Santon was (“*great*”) 2day. dont want to get carried away coz troy will stalk me for saying the wrong word..


  24. Mark, you are right not to use the “c” word. Apparently you must watch a player for the long term before you can call any of his performances “c_____”, but only have to watch him once to be able to judge him as ****e. At least that’s how i understand it…


  25. @MDS

    I wonder if ‘potentially class’ would pass the troytest.

    aye, but he doesnt rubbish him or Santon, the opposite tbh 🙂


  26. Can’t believe my post @17 didn’t generate one bit of discussion. See – people can’t even be bothered to argue any more!

    Oh, the apathy…


  27. Central midfield is a real concern right now. What has happened to Tiote? He turned the ball over many times again last night. Why didn’t Pardew go to a 5 man midfield after about 20 minutes and get Strolla off? What we were doing simply wasn’t working at all. Raylor was absolutely annihilated by their attack. Surely Santon will play against Aston Villa? Best tried but got very little service. Ba was largely invisible when he came on but the midfield had enough trouble just trying to stop QPR attacks. We look a bit light weight now to me. Fun in the sun is nearly over. Once we get into November against the big boys we better have a few things sorted out. If Ben Arfa doesn’t make a huge impact on our attack and if we keep playing Ameobi we could have a very difficult time ahead.


  28. The real threat to Newcastle United

    We all have our hate figures, our very own nemesis to blame at times of anguish. It is safe to guess that the enemies in the cross hairs of most would be our very own ‘Chas and Dave’, the owner and Managing Director although starting to turn the whole affair into a horrific threesome is our alleged Manager/puppet.

    I believe there are darker forces at work (in the words of Richard Keys), I believe that slowly but surely Apathy is creeping into our fan base and this is the real threat to the club.

    The lack of respect the owners show the fans is beyond belief and a football club must be the only business that can be run in this manner without completely losing your customer base and therefore your profit supply.

    I fear the ‘saturation point’ is drawing near for a large number of our fans and at that point apathy becomes a reality.

    How else can you explain the feeling of being fourth in the league and not be excited by the season ahead?

    Damn you Chas and Dave!!


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